What Is Another Way to Say “Not Working”?

Looking for synonyms for not working? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of other ways to say not working.

  • Inoperative
  • Nonfunctional
  • Malfunctioning
  • Out of order
  • Broken
  • Dysfunctional
  • Inactive
  • Down
  • Unresponsive
  • Faulty
  • Defective
  • Offline
  • Out of commission
  • In disrepair
  • Unusable

Want to learn how to say not working professionally? Keep reading for examples and use cases.

1. Inoperative

Appropriate Use: For machinery or systems that are not functioning.
Example: The air conditioning system is currently inoperative; we’re waiting for repairs.

2. Nonfunctional

Appropriate Use: When something is not operating or functioning as intended.
Example: After the update, some features of the software became nonfunctional.

3. Malfunctioning

Appropriate Use: When a device or system is not operating correctly.
Example: We are experiencing network issues due to a malfunctioning router.

4. Out of Order

Appropriate Use: For equipment or facilities that are not working and should not be used.
Example: The elevator is out of order; please use the stairs.

5. Broken

Appropriate Use: When something is damaged and no longer functional.
Example: The photocopier is broken; a technician has been called.

6. Dysfunctional

Appropriate Use: For something that is not operating normally or effectively.
Example: The dysfunctional communication system is causing delays in project updates.

7. Inactive

Appropriate Use: For something that is not currently in use or operation.
Example: The old database has been inactive since we migrated to the new system.

8. Down

Appropriate Use: Often used to describe systems, especially computer networks or servers, that are not operational.
Example: Our website is temporarily down due to scheduled maintenance.

9. Unresponsive

Appropriate Use: For systems or machinery that are not reacting as expected.
Example: The software became unresponsive after the error message appeared.

10. Faulty

Appropriate Use: When something has defects or is not functioning properly.
Example: We had to return the faulty equipment to the supplier.

11. Defective

Appropriate Use: For products or items that have flaws or malfunctions.
Example: The defective batch of batteries was recalled for safety reasons.

12. Offline

Appropriate Use: For systems or equipment that are not currently connected or operational, especially in computing.
Example: The server will be offline for a few hours for the upgrade.

13. Out of Commission

Appropriate Use: For something that is temporarily not working or available for use.
Example: The main conference room is out of commission due to renovations.

14. In Disrepair

Appropriate Use: For objects or structures that are in poor condition and not functioning well.
Example: The old warehouse has been in disrepair for years and needs significant work.

15. Unusable

Appropriate Use: For items that cannot be used due to malfunction or damage.
Example: After the flood, most of the equipment in the basement is unusable.

Linda Brown